Posts Tagged ‘ There’s a God in My Soup ’

Lamed-Vavniks, Unite!

2017.06.08
By

adtnAre you a Lamed-Vavnik?

According to Jewish tradition, there are 36 exceptionally righteous (read: supermensch-like) people in the world in each generation, and without whom the world would cease to exist. (In Hebrew counting, 36 is “lamed vav” (lamed = 30, vav = six)). The thing about Lamed-Vavniks is that they are secretly righteous; they do their deeds under the cover of anonymity.

That type of exemplary behavior is modeled for us in the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, according to the Kotzker Rebbe (1787-1859). The portion begins with G?d telling Moses to tell his brother Aaron to light the menorah inside the Tabernacle — where no one outside could see it. “This was a matter of the inmost heart,” writes the Kotzker. “All the great things have as their central idea something that is hidden and concealed in the heart — with no outward manifestation whatsoever!”

This idea is also substantiated by Pirke Avot, a collection of wise sayings of the sages and early rabbis: “Do not be as servants who serve the master in order to receive a reward, rather be as servants who are serving the master not in order to receive a reward.” That reward could include recognition via Facebook posts or “bragging rights” — both of which are incompatible with the concept of the Lamed-Vavnik.

May we all merit to serve each other in quiet humility, and with a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity.

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Litmus

2011.10.17
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A SURE TEST OF ANY theology is to ask, “Does God exist before human beings?”

Among other things, the answer can shed light on one’s grasp of science. For if you allow for a God who watched over the dinosaurs, who saw the primordial soup trend toward consciousness on a billion planets, who was delighted by the Big Bang — in short, One who doesn’t need humans to survive and Whom humans can only love fiercely but dimly — you may well be on to something.

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“GOD” IS NOT A FAN club.

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“GOD” IS THE EXPERIENCE OF “experiencing God.”

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I Am In Love With Edna St. Vincent Millay

2011.09.08
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EVIDENTLY, SHE WROTE A POEM in 1928 called “Dirge With Music.” I have not yet read any of her other works, but I hope they’re like this one. The last stanza says it all:

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

(Thanks to Rabbi David Wolpe for the quotation.)

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Pithyism #16

2011.09.06
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THE WORLD LOOKS A LITTLE more friendly with something fragrant bubbling on the stove.

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The Aim Of All TRUE Religion

2011.09.05
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PROLONGING THE GOD EXPERIENCE INTO every waking moment. (All else — songs, prayers, chants, acts, texts, charity, incense, beads, building fund — is just stage direction. Which is not to dismiss the stage direction, since that’s one of the keys to the Experience. But the key isn’t the lock, and what you really want anyway is to open.)

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O G?D, DEAREST AND WISEST One, Maker of mercies and miracles, Describer in line and form, please: Save us from those sincere souls who know what You really meant.

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Equationary Simples

2011.08.17
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METAL = ROCKS + FIRE / SLAG.
WRITING = WORDS x TIME / TALENT.
LOVE = PEOPLE – EGO x ACTION.
COOKING = INGREDIENTS + TASTE x EXPERIENCE.
TEACHING = THOUGHT1 + THOUGHT2 x EXPERTISE / TOPIC.
FILM = IMAGES + SOUND x IMAGINATION
MUSIC = RHYTHM + MELODY x SOUL
ART = INTENTION + MATERIAL + ACTION

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Two Indigent Sketches

2011.08.14
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1. HITCHHIKING THROUGH RENO IN 1985, I wandered by the green banks of the Truckee River, where a number of better-days men lived in the park, in what apparently remained of their business suits.

“Hey buddy, you got a second?” An older man, anyway older than I was — maybe 35. Dirty face, dirtier clothes.
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Punch-drunk Piety

2011.08.09
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WE ARE THE WRESTLERS-WITH-God,
the ones grabbing His lapels and hollering “Speak up, sonny!”
and don’t worry about staining the carpets.

And we like It that way.

You who put God on a shelf
Who pull Him out once or twice a year to look at and sigh over
Who wrap Him in chains of fear and “can’t”
Ought to be ashamed of yourselves
For not knowing all the Fun you’re missing.

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Pithyism #210

2011.08.08
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RELIGION, OR AT LEAST JEWISH religion, and certainly a root cause of religion’s comfort, appeal and danger, is simply and little more than people doing what they like to do in the way they like and feel compelled to do it.

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Recent Tales

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Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

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The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

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Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

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